Ananda’s Natural Living School, is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at Ananda Village, a yoga and meditation community that studies the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. It is one of the oldest intentional spiritual communities in the world. The Natural Living School is part of Ananda’s Institute of Cooperative Living , “a school of practical experience and resourceful knowledge in the groundbreaking, vital field of Cooperative Communities.”
The Natural Living School is a place where people can come and gain the experience and confidence they need to simplify their lives, learn to live in balance with nature, and to feed their spirits. Our participants learn how to legally construct an affordable, naturally built cottage, create a home garden with the potential for self sufficiency, and experience the art of natural living. The school is a drug and substance free atmosphere.
The Natural Living School is also a full service natural build and design company. We help homeowners manifest their dream of building and living in a natural home constructed to code. If you are interested in our services please see the contact page and email us, or call us.
Pablo & Lauren Loayza, Designers, Builders and Directors of Ananda’s Natural Living School
In the joys and challenges of raising a family, we are faced with the struggle of meeting our economic needs and still having a healthy life and healthy family. In order to ease the burden we have chosen to simplify our lives and now wish to share our experiences and help others do the same. Join us in creating affordable housing for a community of people striving to live simply, in balance with nature and spirit.
During the summer of 2010 we were blessed with the opportunity to study and apprentice with the Cob Cottage Company, the oldest natural building school in the country. We were deeply touched from our first moments at the Cob Cottage Company when we encountered a sign in the path that reads “There are two ways to get rich, you can make more money or you can require less.” Studying with Ianto, Linda, and the many other talented natural builders that pass through CCC taught us invaluable lessons about natural building and simple living.
When we moved to Ananda Village, we where able to put all these practices together; Yoga, Meditation, Natural Building, Permaculture, and Sustainable Living. We started the school, to help other enjoy the holistic benefits of combining all these practices under one natural roof. The result has been 4 wonderful years of amazing experiences and many beautiful souls, that have joined us on this quest. We have also come to understand that natural building is not just a way of building; it is a way of life.
David Schroeder, Permaculture Instructor, Designer, Natural Builder, and Yoga Teacher
David Schroeder is a lover of all things natural, and seeks to educate others on how to live closer to nature’s rhythms. It took many years of confusion and cul-de-sac pathways to be led here. Once figured out, he and a friend started Roots: Permaculture. Operating as an advocacy group and educational resource, their mission is to provide examples of what we can do as individuals and communities to live happier, healthier and whole lives. Combined with a magnetic pull toward Yogic science and practice, David aims to combine his passions into a lifestyle that is simple, connected, devoted and full of laughter.
Permaculture provides us with the tools that will help us continue thriving in a future of energy uncertainties. As we have come to depend on fossil fuels to provide for most of our energetic needs, permaculture design seeks alternative methods to develop local, synergistic relationships within ourselves, our communities and throughout our landscapes. By observing nature and the myriad patterns that make up our world, we are able to harmoniously integrate these patterns to provide for our needs of food, shelter, water, clean air, quiet space and social interaction.
Permaculture provides a strong foundation to thrive indefinitely by creating healthy, durable systems designed in mother nature’s likeness.
Ninette Warner – Community Outreach Coordinator, Natural Builder, Director of the “Muddy-Buddy Builders” Programs.
Ninette is an avid nature lover with a passion for natural building. She also enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and cooking healthy meals. Ever since she was a little girl she knew she wanted to make a positive impact on the world by helping others. Towards this goal, she attained her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders in 2011 from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and throughout college worked with children who have autism and other developmental disabilities.
In 2009 she had the opportunity to travel to Argentina and volunteer on organic farms. Here she was fully immersed in a sustainable lifestyle, experiencing a simple life in community without modern conveniences. This was her first introduction to earthen building, organic gardening and an overall lifestyle aimed at self-sufficiency. After 5 months of traveling she returned to New York to finish her degree, but the experience of living harmoniously in nature and learning to build with nothing more than her hands remained with her.
In August of 2013 she decided to leave her high stress job in hopes to go back to a simple lifestyle while also enhancing her knowledge of sustainable living. Here she came across the program “building with spirit” at the Natural Living School here in Nevada City, CA, offering a perfect marriage between learning natural building techniques, living in community, and practicing yoga and meditation. After a few months of learning various natural building techniques including cob, strawbale, bale-cob, and timber framing, she joined the Natural Living School in Costa Rica. Here she learned to build using their local techniques and materials- primarily bamboo. After this workshop she traveled on to other parts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua to different homesteads and farms, helping build cob ovens and other structures.
Upon returning to the States in March 2014, she now aims to pass on her knowledge of sustainability and community living to future generations. In doing so, she finally has the opportunity to combine her two passions- natural building and working with children- in hopes of truly making a positive impact on the world.
Penelope Sullivan- Herbalist, Healer, Natural Builder, Devoted Mother and Friend
My journey and education in natural living began seventeen years ago when I began to contemplate how to be truly happy….and how to feel truly vital, on all levels. This questioning led me to study and incorporate mediation into daily life as well as get multiple degrees in herbalism and holistic nutrition. In more recent years, I have expanded out to study permaculture and natural building. My greatest joy is in following these ideals of “simple living and high thinking” and sharing this type of knowledge with others. As we tune into these gifts from nature and bring them into our daily lives a sacredness and robustness fills us. This is a blessing to share.
Badri Matlock, Director of the Institute For Cooperative Living, Yoga, and Meditation Teacher
Badri Matlock is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher now living and working at Ananda Village in Northern California. Since graduating with honors from California State University Long Beach in 2009 he has been directing community programs at Ananda Village and networking with cooperative communities across the globe. He serves as director for the Ananda Institute of Cooperative Living and teaches at the Expanding Light, Ananda’s spiritual retreat for meditation, yoga and health.
The Ananda Institute of Cooperative Living is a school of practical experience and knowledge in the groundbreaking, vital field of Cooperative Communities. The Institute is based in the tradition of Ananda Sangha Worldwide, an international community dedicated to high principles and simple living, among them the great need and importance of Cooperative Communities. For more info visit www.CooperativeCommunity.org or contact Badri@ananda.org